Salvia wardii is a perennial plant that is native to Tibet, found growing in alpine grasslands and thickets at 3,600 to 4,500 m (11,800 to 14,800 ft) elevation. It grows 50 to 75 cm (20 to 30 in) high, on strong stems that are glandular and hairy, forming into a thick spreading plant. It has many basal leaves that are ovate to subhastate, 7 to 16 cm (2.8 to 6.3 in) long and 3.5 to 8 cm (1.4 to 3.1 in) wide. The upper leaf is slightly ridged with short hairs, the underside has red glandular hairs, especially dense on the veins.
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